Governor Bentley issues statewide State of Emergency due to storms, 3 confirmed dead

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — Governor Bentley issued a State of Emergency on Wednesday after severe weather caused extensive damage over Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning, according to a release from his office.

The NWS Wednesday confirmed an EF1 hit the Arley/Helicon area, and an EF1 hit the Buncomb Creek area. The Huntsville NWS says an EF-2 tornado caused the deaths in Jackson County.

According to the release, the thunderstorms, hail, winds and tornadoes caused damage in 12 counties: Colbert, Cullman, Dekalb, Franklin, Jackson, Lauderdale, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Morgan, Pickens, and Winston.

The storm in Jackson County caused three fatalities. Officials say the three victims were inside a mobile home, which was flipped over by strong winds, in the town of Rosalie.

The wind also destroyed 20 homes, and caused moderate damage to 46 others, according to the Emergency Management Agency.

In Ider, a small town in Dekalb County, four people were hurt, after they and three other family members fled their mobile home to seek shelter in their  nearby family-owned day care.

Nothing but the bathroom is left of the day care.

“When we took off running, the wind picked us up and threw us,” said 14-year-old Aubrey Williams, who was inside the day care but not hurt. “We went through walls and the roof fell down and collapsed on us.”

Sheriff Jimmy Harris said of those four, three are in critical condition.

Bentley’s release states that 10,600 people are without power, and the Alabama Forestry Commission is battling 11 wildfires at this time. You can read his full release below.

MONTGOMERY – Governor Robert Bentley on Wednesday issued a State of Emergency following deadly storms Tuesday night and additional severe weather Wednesday.

Alabama has experienced severe thunderstorms, hail, straight line winds, and tornadoes causing damage in 12 counties including: Colbert, Cullman, Dekalb, Franklin, Jackson, Lauderdale, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Morgan, Pickens, and Winston.

The storm that moved through Jackson County on Tuesday night caused three fatalities. According to an assessment from the Alabama Emergency Management Agency, 20 homes in Jackson County were destroyed and 46 others have moderate damage. AEMA officials are assessing damage around the state and mobilizing necessary resources to support those affected.

“The people of Alabama have already suffered because of this week’s severe weather and we are experiencing more today,” Governor Bentley said. “This State of Emergency will activate state agencies to assist communities in whatever way necessary, to ensure our people get the help they need. Tomorrow I will travel to affected parts of the state to survey the damage and ensure people have the resources they need following these storms.”

There are currently 10,600 homes statewide without power. State crews and power company workers are out today working to clear downed trees and power lines to get utilities restored as quickly as possible.

This week’s storms have brought some rainfall to the state but, as of Tuesday, the Alabama Forestry Commission was still battling 11 wildfires. AFC Officials will reassess the drought situation on Thursday taking into account this week’s rainfall.

This State of Emergency is effective immediately and will remain until further notice.

A link to the State of Emergency can be found here.

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